By Niles Eldredge
Life on the earth: An Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution tackles the severe factor for humanity within the twenty first century—our ever extra menacing influence at the atmosphere. This two-volume, illustrated set, edited by way of American Museum of average background curator Niles Eldredge, starts off with biodiversity, the advanced planetary net of lifestyles that has emerged via 3 billion years of evolution. How does it paintings? And why is its persisted overall healthiness serious to the planet and to ourselves?
More than 50 most sensible students research each type of lifestyles from amoebae to elephants, from plankton to whales. yet Life on Earth is greater than a catalog of species. An A-Z survey explores the myriad methods humanity is diminishing that biodiversity, from industrialization to traditional habitat destruction, from overpopulation within the constructing global to an unsustainable purchaser way of life within the West. Life on Earth is the fundamental reference paintings for an individual inquisitive about our planet's awesome variety of existence and the extraordinary threats it faces.
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Additional info for Life on Earth: An Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution
For example, the aye-aye, also found in Madagascar, is the only living representative of the primate family, Daubentoniidae. This is another aspect of using taxonomic or phylogenetic diversity as a particular measure of biodiversity. The tuatara (Sphenodon) is a large, lizardlike animal that occurs only on islands off the 22 coast of New Zealand. It is the only surviving representative of an entire order of reptiles, and it is also a phylogenetically basal representative of living reptiles. Therefore it confers special importance to the reptile biodiversity of these islands.
However, new research suggests that an increase in species richness might not necessarily confer greater ecological resilience (Pfisterer and Schmid, 2002). Ecosystems may be classified according to the dominant type of habitat present—for example, a salt marsh ecosystem, or rocky shore intertidal ecosystem. Comparisons between ecosystems usually focus on how the biological complexity of the ecosystem (for example, the number and diversity of species present) might be constrained by the physical complexity of the ecosystem—whether, for example, the ecosystem is a high-energy environment such as a torrential stream or exposed coastline, or a low-energy environment such as a sheltered salt marsh.
69: 15–45; Harrison, I. , and M. L. J. Stiassny. 1999. ” In Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences, edited by R. D. E. MacPhee, pp. 271–331. , Jr. 1996. ” Conservation Biology 10, no. , Jr. 2002. Fundamentals of Conservation Biology. 2d ed. ; Jablonski, D. 1995. ” In Extinction Rates, edited by J. H. Lawton and R. M. May, pp. 25–44. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Kottelat, M. 1995. ” Journal of Natural History 29: 565–569; Kottelat, M. 1997. ” Biologia (Bratislava) 52 (Suppl.
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